During the time of Rizal, or during the late 18th to early 19th century, the Friars occupied the Philippines. These friars controlled the educational system in the Philippines and they were able to own different schools comprising from the primary level to the tertiary levels of education. The people who took charge in teaching, implementation of the rules and regulations and the monitoring of students were assigned to the missionaries during that time. The teachings of the Catholic religion were emphasized to the levels of education in the schools owned by the friars. In the primary level, they were taught of the Christian Doctrines, how to read Spanish books and a little of the native’s language. In the universities, Science and Mathematics were not vey much introduced to the students. Instead of Spanish, students were taught how to speak and understand Latin.
Discrimination during the early times was very much utilized. This is because the schools before were exclusive only for the Spaniards. Filipinos were only able to attend school in the late 19th century. Some schools also limited their lodging to the sons of wealthy Filipino families. Friars hardly discriminated Filipinos because even if they were able to enter school and study, the friars believed that Filipinos would not still be able to match their skills and they will only learn fast if they would strictly implement disciplinary actions or the means of applying corporal punishment. Also, during their time, the schools for boys and girls were separated. Schools for the boys were the first ones that were established. In 1565, Augustinians built the first school in the Philippines that was situated in Cebu.
During the Spanish regime, college was already equal to a university. The most common course was Bachelor of Arts or Bachiller en Artes. In 1589, the Jesuits established the first college for boys in Manila and it was named “Colegio de San Ignacio.” They also established other schools like Colegio de San Idelfonso in Cebu in 1595 and Colegio de San Jose in 1601. For the mean time, the school Escuela Pia was entrusted by the government to the Jesuits. Later, this was called Ateneo de Municipal which is now the famous Ateneo de Manila University. While the Dominicans also made a name as they established one of the popular universities in the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas that was opened in 1611. Dominicans also built the San Juan de Letran but only for the orphaned boys.
The first college school for girls was opened in 1589 and this was Colegio de Santa Pontenciana. Colegio de Santa Isabel opened in 1632. The religious congregations also established schools for the girls and it was eventually called beaterio. It was meant for orphaned girls who could not afford to attend school and educate themselves. The subjects in the beaterio taught housekeeping, cooking, sewing and embroidery making. Even if discrimination was utilized before by the friars, they also brought a good impact to us, Filipinos. The friars were effective in evangelizing the catholic religion to the Filipinos. There is one major failure in the educational system of the religious parishioners and it was the preventing the Filipinos to learn other bodies of knowledge. They limit education to the teaching of Spanish, Latin and Filipino language, the teaching of Religion was also emphasized. Mathematics and Science was absolutely neglected.
Education under the Spanish administration was privileged only to Spanish students. Philippine education was only a means to remain in the Philippines as colonizers. Filipinos became followers to the Spaniards even if these things happened here in the Philippines. Filipinos were greatly influenced by the Spaniards to the extent that even their lifestyles were already influenced by the Spaniards. The educated Filipinos were called as ilustrados and they began movements directed towards change in the government of the Philippines. They wanted to be the same level with the proud Spaniards. The growing number of ilustrados in the Philippines is considered as one of the major effects of education by the Spaniards in the Philippines.